France alter ‘foreign’ player policy

South African-born Scott Spedding will remain eligible to play for France, but indications suggest that other 'foreign' players will not be able to follow suit going forward.

Following a recent meeting between the French Rugby Federation (FFR) and World Rugby president Bill Beaumont, it was confirmed that France will no longer select non-French players for its national team.

'I told Bill that we've taken the political decision to stop playing foreign players in the national team,' French federation president Bernard Laporte commented. 'Obviously it's not retroactive. Those playing can continue playing but it's a strong signal for French academies and our youngsters that we'll play a maximum number of Frenchmen.'

While it's a decision that will not affect long-serving French fullback, Spedding, it could have a bearing on a number of other French-based South African players.

Meanwhile, Laporte also reiterated France's commitment to bid against Ireland and South Africa to host the 2023 World Cup. 

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Post by

Craig Lewis